NGCAA Limited

About the NGCAA

Managed by a Board of Directors who are all experienced in golf Club management, the NGCAA delivers on-hand support to Golf Club Managers, Committees and Owners.

The NGCAA can assist with any legal issues that a Club may encounter, such as Employment law, Discipline and Regulation of Members, Licensing & Hospitality, Disability & Equality, Incorporation, Running General Meetings plus much more.

As well as the personalised support offered over the telephone and by email, members have access to a comprehensive library of templates and briefing notes which are held on our secure website. These can be downloaded and used as often as required. There is also a facility to upload your key documentation onto our central resource so that we are better able to assist you when you need us most.

The NGCAA is a well-respected industry body and contributes regular articles to relevant golfing publications.

Delivering Effective
Legal Support


Contact us on
01886 812943
for a FREE initial review
of how we can
help your golf club.



Membership Details




Alistair Smith - Chief Executive

Alistair Smith

Alistair trained at a sports law firm in Manchester and qualified as a solicitor in 2000, after which he spent 17 years in private practice in the North East of England where he specialised in advising on employment law, as well as regulation and discipline within member organisations.

Former clients include the NGCAA itself, the Federation of Small Businesses, the NFU, the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, numerous golf clubs and SMEs.

Having made the move to be Chief Executive of the NGCAA on a full time basis at the end of 2017, Alistair is a now a non-practising solicitor and provides guidance on all legal queries for NGCAA members. Although Alistair will be responsible for dealing with all the legal queries coming through the office, where specialist advice is needed for a club, Alistair will be assisted by the NGCAA's retained Counsel.

Alistair is keen to help our member clubs arrive at a swift and pragmatic solution on any issue that may arise, so members are encouraged to pick up the phone or to email as soon as there is a hint of a problem. Alistair will also be a regular speaker on our training and development sessions, run by Jackie Howe.

Often found on the fairways (or just off them!) of his native Northumberland Golf Club, Alistair is a keen golfer and passionate about helping our members to thrive.


Jackie Howe - Training and Development Manager

Jackie Howe

Jackie has been with the NGCAA since 2006 when she decided to move from Golf Club Management to the more challenging role of Chief Executive with the NGCAA. Jackie has worked in golf management since 1986 and has an in-depth understanding of the problems faced by golf Club managers and their committees in the 21st century. In her time, she was also a single figure handicap golfer.

As well as her extensive knowledge and experience of Golf Clubs, Jackie is a seasoned lecturer and can provide informative and entertaining speeches at your events on a number of legal subjects. Jackie is also a trained Health & Safety Advisor.

In 2018 Jackie decided to step down as Chief Executive and now heads up the Training and Development at the NGCAA. Jackie is able to deliver training courses to both Managers and Committee members and if needed can visit your Club to discuss your own needs.



Deb Bufton - PA and Office Manager

Deb Bufton

Deb has been with the NGCAA since 2012. Although not a golfer, Deb has extensive experience in a number of office management roles and is likely to be the first point of contact for our members.

Deb is in charge of all non-legal elements of the office, in particular membership and account queries, website log-in enquiries and Club profile updates. She is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the office.


Tom Rean - Marketing Administrator

Tom Rean

Thomas is the most recent addition to our team, with specialist skills in marketing and administration techniques. Having been part of several successful online ventures his expertise in this area will no doubt become part of our ongoing mission to provide additional services to our members. He is currently overseeing our social media accounts and online presence and will be assisting Deb in the smooth running of day to day operations at the NGCAA office.



Nigel Kidwell - Barrister

Nigel Kidwell

Nigel has been a practising lawyer for 30 years. As a solicitor he was longstanding managing partner of a law firm with a large client base of landowners and land managers, through its retention by the NFU in particular. The practice also represented most of the golf clubs in its vicinity.

He is now a full-time barrister with a practice which includes a large number of clubs and other not-for-profit organisations as well as commercial organisations. Advice and representation includes constitutional and regulatory structure and documentation, member-club disputes, rights of way and other easements/covenants over land, commons and village green rights, trespass, and nuisance.

Nigel also has a mediation practice, facilitating resolution of disputes between parties upon almost any subject.

His principal recreation is golf; he maintains two active club memberships.




NGCAA Legal Team - Specialists in legislative guidance for clubs


Our team of specialist solicitors advise upon and provide documentation on a wide range of subject including:

  • Employment Law
  • Disability/Equality
  • Club Constitution
  • Voting Procedures
  • Discipline of Members
  • CASC
  • Social Media/Wi-Fi
  • Neighbour Disputes
  • Redundancy
  • Licensing & Hospitality
  • Membership Disputes
  • Articles of Association
  • Club Rules/Byelaws
  • Consumer Credit
  • Data Protection
  • Property Lettings
  • Policy Reviews




NGCAA Board of Directors



Ian Skellern

Ian Skellern

Began working life as a science/maths qualified teacher in a York secondary school. Joined the Royal Air force in 1966 and served for 28 years before retiring in the rank of Wing Commander. Became manager of the Gog Magog Golf Club for the next six years during which time helped to manage the project of building a second 18-hole course, the Wandelbury; the R&A liked the new course and were given permission to hold their regional qualifying event for 5 years. Represented, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and the Royal Air Force at Golf.

Have been on the NGCAA executive committee since 1999 and Chairman for the last 9 years.


Ray Howell

Ray Howell

Sqn Ldr Ray Howell was first elected on to the committee of NGCAA in 1996., and has been involved continuously since then. In 2001 he was elected President & Chairman, continuing as chairman until 2007. He managed Tredegar Park Golf Club, Gwent for 10 years, being involved in the construction of, and move to, a newly built course. He is a long standing member of Radyr Golf Club, Cardiff and has served on the committee of that club, and been temporary manager of the club on two recent occasions.

Previously, Ray was in the Royal Air Force for 25 years as a pilot and flying instructor. Apart from golf club management, Ray has worked as a commercial director for a number of family companies, and this continues on a part-time basis.


Gary Pearce

Gary Pearce

I have been the General Manager at Fulford for 10 years. Fulford is a busy traditional members club, with a rich history in Championship Golf. Other roles I have held during my time at FGC include; Yorkshire GCMA Regional Committee member, York Union Secretary for the past three years, and I support England Golf as a member of the Club Managers Advisory Group. Prior to Fulford GC, I worked for Marriott Golf at Hollins Hall and at Dalmahoy, and I was also General Manager at Cottesmore Hotel, Golf and Country Club. I have experience working in the Municipal Golf sector, working for Leeds City Council Golf during my University years where I studied Business Management.


Martyn Bonner

Martyn Bonner MBE

Martyn has been the Manager of Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell) since January 2013. Prior to that he was in the Army for almost 40 years, man and boy. In his final military position, as the Commanding Officer of Sennelager Support Unit, he was appointed Chairman of the British Army Golf Club (Germany) for almost three years. He is married with two children and 4 grandchildren and is a single figure (at times) golfer!


Nick Lewis

Nick Lewis

Nick qualified as a solicitor in 1974 and became a partner in KBL Solicitors in 1980 undertaking a variety of contentious legal work but settled as the head of Family Law at KBL. He trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2008 and along the way has been a member of AVMA (Action for victims of Medical Accidents), APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) Trial Lawyers of America. Nick was also President of Bolton Law Society, Bolton Round Table and 41 Club and was a director of the Octagon Theatre for many years. He has been a lifelong member of Bolton Golf club and became interested in Golf Club law through his long association with Mike Shaw former CEO of the NGCAA and has been Head of Legal for the NGCAA for 5 years. Nick is also a long-standing member of Windermere Motor Boat racing Club and is currently retired. Nick is concerned about the long-term future of Golf Clubs and therefore convinced that the advice given by the NGCAA will make the way forward less daunting.




NGCAA - Legal advice and administrative support to member golf clubs